34th International Chimney Sweep Festival
International meeting in the Vigezzo valley
In Santa Maria Maggiore in the Vigezzo valley it’s time for the 34th celebration of the trade of the chimney sweep. From the 4th to the 7th of September the town will be filled with professionals and spectators from all over the world for this highly anticipated event.
The Vigezzo valley, nicknamed the Valley of the Chimney Sweeps for the flow of emigrating chimney sweeps towards northern Europe in the 16th century, will host over a thousand chimney sweeps this year, coming not only from all over Italy but also from Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Holland, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, France, Belgium, England, Scotland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Czech Republic, USA and Japan. The great “black parade” last year broke all records attracting over 30.000 visitors.
The event will begin on Friday 4 September with the welcoming of the chimney sweeps in the Chimney Sweep Museum. Following is the “black night” organized by the association Arti&Mercanti with stands selling local handicraft, tastings of typical products and live music, crowned by the fireworks’ show at 11.30 p.m. in the Piazza Risorgimento.
Saturday 5 September begins with paying homage to the little chimney sweep in Malesco and continues in the town of Craveggia, where the chimney sweeps will parade throught the streets and squares of the old town, especially decorated for the event. The day ends in Santa Maria Maggiore with a party in the square, a unique occasion to have fun eating and dancing in the company of a thousand chimney sweeps.
Sunday 6 September the event reaches it’s culmination with the grand parade of the cimney sweeps with their tools through the streets di Santa Maria Maggiore. The various delegations will parade to the music of the Gruppo Folkloristico Valle Vigezzo and many other musical bands, stopping in the Piazza Risorgimento where they will be presented to the public and then terminating in the Piazza Gennari. The afternoon continues in the Piazza Risorgimento where the chimney sweeps will demonstrate, on the roofs of the surrounding buildings, the ancient trade of chimney sweeping using the tools of the olden days. The restaurants of the town will prepare themed dishes to satisfy the palate while in the park of the Villa Antonia they will be serving a typical menu followed by a performance by the Young Musicians of the Ossola Valley and interviews with the chimeny sweeps.
Monday 7 September will be dedicated to the discovery of the territory. The chimney sweeps will take the cable car up to the Piana di Vigezzo to get to know the unique natural beauty of this corner of Piedmont, before returning home.
It will be easier than ever to reach Santa Maria Maggiore for the event this year. Since the regularly scheduled trains between Domodossola and Santa Maria Maggiore are already fully booked, some special runs will be added upon reservation. Another novelty this year is the “Chimney Sweep Train” which throughout the days of Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 will travel between Druogno and Re, crossing the entire Vigezzo Valley. It will make intermediate stops in Buttogno, Santa Maria Maggiore, Zornasco and Malesco, allowing the visitors to discover all the angles of the Piedmont valley in an eco-sustainable way.